Fall Parent Essentials: Foster Parent Essentials

We are so excited to have a guest post today by our friend and foster parent, Katie Grosskopf. Here are her top essentials! 

“In August 2017, I was thrust into motherhood by becoming the foster mom of a 2-year-old boy. In that moment, everything I thought I knew about being a mom flew out the window. I had spent the better part of the year dreaming and planning what motherhood would look like. I had multiple, fool proof beliefs for how it would all play out. Unfortunately, you can plan all day to be a mom but nothing can prepare you for the real thing. (Maybe 9 months of pregnancy, but I didn’t have that luxury).

More than a year later, and now finding myself raising a 4-year-old girl, I have learned some valuable lessons about myself as a mother and have picked up a few essentials along the way. Basically, all of the previous assumptions I had made have been corrected with a true understanding of motherhood and how to survive. Here’s what it looks like:

Assumption: I will have enough energy to go toe to toe with my kid. They sleep 12 hours at night!
Truth: Coffee! Lots of Coffee! There is not enough coffee in the world to combat night terrors, accidents, and 6 am wake ups.

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Assumption: I will be a free flow mom. My kid will fit into my life and will go with me wherever I go.
Truth: No. Wrong. I am the kind of mom that needs structure and schedules. I function much better with a plan for the day. We all work best when I share that plan with my kids. My 4-year-old, especially, relies on our weekly schedules! Even the worst day can be turned upright by writing out a plan!

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Let’s lump bedtime and naptime into this one too! Scheduled sleep has been my saving grace. It is my “me time”, my break, my knight in shining armor! I know I can mom it until 1pm or 7:30pm and then have time to do whatever adult tasks have filled up my inbox. I can even choose not to adult and Instagram instead!

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Assumption: My kids can play with whatever toy they want. The more toys the better.
Truth: I am a mom who hates chaos. Toys strewn across the living room looks and feels like chaos. It only took me a couple of weeks to realize our toy situation needed a change and I marched down to the dollar store to figure out a solution. Baskets and shoe boxes help keep our toys organized. My kids pull one out at a time, which limits the mess (aka chaos).

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Assumption: I can do this! We will just play at home all day, loving every minute together!
Truth: I can do this…..at Target! I can’t tell you how many times we pack ourselves into the car and go walk the aisles of Target. You might think we went all this way for some milk, but really, Mommy needed a break!

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Assumption: I won’t need a date night. I’ll want to spend all my time with my kids.
Truth: Motherhood takes a village. A LARGE village. No one can talk to a 2-year-old forever. We all need a little (or a lot of) adult conversation once in a while. It does the body and mind good to get dressed up, treat yourself, and rekindle your connection with your spouse or friends. Take the time to find a babysitter you trust and let them help you!

I hope this peak into my pre-mom mind was helpful to you and gives you some relief. You are all wonderful Moms and Dads in your own way. We might have just turned out to be different parents than we expected. Ignorance is bliss!”

*All photos posted with parental permission*